Friday, March 24, 2006

What Jacob sought...

Parshat VaYeshev starts, 'And Jacob dwelled in the land of Canaan.' Rashi, implicitly, asks why we need to know that 'Jacob dwelled.' We know that already. Furthermore, why does the Torah conclude the verse by informing us about Joseph? So Rashi explains, 'Jacob sought to live in tranquility, and the wrath (aggravation?) of Joseph leaped upon him.

I know that this is Parshat HaHodesh, and that this week we're at the end of Shemot and not the middle of Bereshit. And no, I'm not in the middle of reading Joseph and his Brothers. (I'm in the middle of Peter Berger's Sacred Canopy (again) and Gell's Anthropology of Time.)

I thought of this Rashi because of my fellow blogger, On the Face. She is an incredibly intelligent, perceptive woman and wields a mean pen (er, keyboard). Her talents have received their due recognition and she now writes for the Guardian's blogsite. (I'll add all the links after Shabbat).
It is of her most recent post, and the upcoming elections, that I wish to write.

Two things caught my eye in her posting. First, that the friend she describes is:

Kadima will be elected because it represents mainstream Israelis: People who would rather focus on their personal lives than on the conflict with the Palestinians; people who really do not have an axe to grind with their neighbours, whatever they may think.

In other words, people who want tranquility, who seek 'normalcy' (we'll come back to that one).
I share her dream. In the shape of things, however. It is a lethal dream. For all of the yearning for a life of cosmopolitan angst, and political ennui, there is no way to 'disengage' from the world. (Je suis maintenant a Bruxelles. Alors je ne peut pas ecrire mon blog sans m'exprimer aven un soupcon de francais.)

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